Everyone loves The Stath and these are his 2 biggest franchises so far, but which one is the best?
During the earlier 2000’s the action genre was pretty dried up; Stallone had disappeared into DTV Hell (temporarily) and Arnie had retired (also temporarily) to become The Governator. Then Luc Besson had the genius idea of creating the next action hero, not filmed in the States but with glamorous European locations and awesome stunts. Jason Statham would play Frank Martin, a driver who transports/smuggles items with no questions asked, but he has a few rules.
“No new deals, when it’s a deal, it’s a deal”
“Never open the package”
“Never make a promise you can’t keep”
As I’ve said before, he always ends up breaking his own rules and ends up getting into more trouble.
Frank Martin essentially reinvented the action genre and really showed that the French knew how to do some seriously great action, while being stylish and fun too. The Transporter would make Statham the action star we all love today and paved the way for his next series.
Chev Chelios is a professional contract killer for the West Coast Crime Syndicate and is one of my favourite Stath characters. When he is poisoned by a rival Ricky Verona he will stop at nothing to find an antidote and find the man responsible. What ensues is essentially a video game come to life with insane action scenes, lots of public shagging and over the top set-pieces.
It has a Hard R rating and managed to feel like something we hadn’t seen before; it was just insane with crazy camera work and editing, cementing Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor as the next great action directors.
The sequel Crank: High Voltage is widely regarded as inferior to the first movie but I love it because it’s even wackier than the original. This time you have even more public shagging and a Godzilla-style fight scene between Chev and a goon.
Both of the Crank movies have crazy humour and you have to have a strong stomach to properly enjoy them. Thankfully I do, so I just have a blast.
So which is my favourite franchise? It’s a tough one because I adore them both. The Transporter helped to keep old school action alive, albeit with a family friendly PG-13 rating, but Crank created something truly unique with a crazy story and even crazier action.
This is actually really tough, but I think I’m going to have to say The Transporter; I just love the character of Frank Martin as he’s almost James Bond-esque. All three films are beautifully shot with great music and pretty inventive action. As much as I love the Crank films, they may be a bit too much for some and if you’re looking for a more “fun” action movie I’d recommend The Transporter.